A PENSIONER is in a serious condition in hospital after being hit by a double-decker bus in the city centre.
The 65-year-old was knocked down by the number 41 bus at the junction of Frederick Street and Princes Street.
He was initially taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary before being transferred to the Western General Hospital.
The accident, which happened just before 10.45am yesterday, prompted police to close the entire stretch of Frederick Street and the stretch of Princes Street to the West End.
Frederick Street remained cordoned off by roads collision investigators until around 5pm, and the bus – which had a large crack in its lower windscreen – was removed shortly beforehand.
The vehicle had been turning up Frederick Street on the Cramond to King’s Buildings route when the incident took place.
The accident comes just months after the pedestrian crossing came under fire due to the short time walkers are given to cross the junction.
Pedestrian rights group Living Streets Scotland claimed the crossing was a “safety hazard” earlier this year, after it revealed that walkers have just six seconds to cross at the green man.
One onlooker said yesterday: “People take chances at the crossing, and buses come from unexpected directions. I saw a man have a panic attack after the accident, he had to go into a shop.”
City centre councillor Joanna Mowat said her sympathies were with the victim and his family. She said: “It’s a crossing that has had some attention paid to it. You can get caught up with a long time between light sequences – it can be red for a long time and then there’s quite a short green section.
“It’s a junction that’s been brought to people’s attention in the past. It’s too early to say whether this was a contributing factor to this tragic
Cllr Mowat added: “We are all very concerned about this gentleman. We will have to examine the accident and see if there are any lessons which can be learned. We will have to see what the investigation throws up.”
A spokesman for Lothian Buses said: “We can confirm that there was an incident involving a pedestrian and one of our vehicles. Our staff supported the emergency services at the scene and we will continue to support police as they investigate the incident.”
Police officers carried out door-to-door inquiries at neighbouring shops, and are now appealing for other witnesses to call 101.
Sergeant Keith Denholm said: “This incident has resulted in a man sustaining serious injuries and I am keen to hear from anyone who saw it happen or who has any other information that can help us with our inquiries.”
In January this year, Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, called for an “urgent review” into the challenges of walking down the city’s principal street. His claims were backed by pedestrians, who said crossing the Princes Street and Frederick Street junction was “a game of chance”. City transport chief Councillor
Lesley Hinds pledged to investigate the issue.